July 28 a busy day
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Anyone in and around Atmore who feels that there is little or nothing to do on weekends won’t be able to make that claim this Saturday. A busy July 28 local calendar includes an annual back-to-school festival, the debut of a faith-based gathering and a scholarship pageant for young women.
On top of all that, there’s a fundraising bake sale scheduled for that day, too.
In fact, the Atmore VFW Auxiliary’s bake sale is the first item on the Saturday agenda. Cakes, pies and other goodies will be sold from 8 a.m. until noon at Atmore’s Walmart.
All proceeds will go into the auxiliary’s general fund to assist veterans, their families and program goals. Anyone who would like more information on the sale or who would like to donate baked goods for the sale is urged to call 359-0768.
Unity in the Community
Organizers of the fourth-annual Unity in the Community Festival are making plans to accommodate 1,200 attendees at the citywide back-to-school blowout, held at Grace Fellowship Church, off U.S. 31, just east of town.
The fun will begin at 11 a.m. and last until 6 p.m.
Parents of students can earn vouchers for free school uniforms and school supplies by talking with representatives from the different organizations that will have informational booths set up at the festival. Among that group are Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Women’s Resource Center, Atmore Public Library, Atmore Area YMCA and others.
“Unity in the Community is a free day for families in the Atmore community to come and enjoy themselves, and to celebrate and encourage education among children and parents,” said Ruth Robinson, who coordinates the event. “We are seeking to help parents further educate themselves, too.”
This will be the fourth year that Grace Fellowship has partnered with the Brewton District Missionary Department and Concerned Citizens of Atmore to hold the festival, which also includes a free lunch, a carnival and professional Christian entertainment.
The carnival will include bounce houses, pony rides, rides on a miniature train, face painting, game booths and other activities. Atmore Fire Department’s Smoke House and at least one fire engine will also be on hand.
“It’s a day for families to have fun and community members to connect and enjoy each other,” Robinson said, pointing out that even bad weather has a hard time keeping people away from the annual community gathering. “Last year, despite severe thunderstorms the morning of the event, we had over 900 participants.”
Long-range forecasts for Saturday call for a low in the lower 70-degree range, with highs in the low 90s. There is a slight chance of thunderstorms, but the relative humidity should be relatively low.
To be a part of the festival, to make a donation to help fund it or to get more information about it, contact Robinson at 253-5253.
Gathering at the Gazebo
Unity Baptist Church and several other area churches will join forces to present The Gathering at the Gazebo, an evening of praise, worship and singing that gets under way at 5 p.m. and lasts until 8:30 p.m. at Tom Byrne Park.
Rusty Montel, one of the organizers of the event, said the gathering was designed “for the sole purpose of bringing people together to worship.”
He said local and area residents are going to be singing and leading the praise and worship, and it’s for anybody who wants to come, no matter what church he or she attends, or even if he or she attends church.
Montel admitted that organizing the debut of a planned annual event has been a learning experience, but hoped that things would get smoother with each passing year.
“We want to make it an annual event; we’d like for it to get large enough we can bring in some bigger-name people to do the praise and worship each year,” he said. “I’m hoping we’ll have 100 or more people on Saturday; I feel like we will. We want people to bring a lawn chair and just sit back and enjoy a time of singing, worship and praise.”
For more information on the gathering, call Montel at 253-0364.
For ladies only
Fifteen young ladies from across the county will participate in the local Distinguished Young Women program, a national scholarship program that gives young women the opportunity to further their educations and prepare for successful futures.
The pageant-like event will begin at 6 p.m. at Woodfin Patterson Auditorium, on the Brewton campus of Coastal Alabama Community College. Tickets are $10 each and are available from contestants or at the door.
Five high school students from Atmore — Escambia County High School’s Christiara Jones, Johnika Roberts, Janiyah Rogers, and Olivia Simmons, and Escambia Academy’s Mary Thompson Lancaster — will be in the running for the program’s numerous scholarships.
The winner of the local program will advance to the state level, where she will have a chance to advance into the national program.